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For the 2019 World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Absa has collaborated with Niche Cocoa, the leading privately operated cocoa processing company in Ghana and a client of the bank.
Chocolate is a guilty pleasure for some and a decadent delight for others. But what is universal is its smooth goodness and the way it melts in the mouth. Niche Cocoa realised this truth and opened in 2011 as a cocoa processing company producing high-quality products from 100 percent Ghanaian cocoa beans.
Since it opened its doors, Niche has shown an unwavering commitment to quality and fair trade, so it’s no surprise that it has established itself as the country’s leading bean-to-bar producer that is fully organic, Halaal, Kosher and Fair Trade certified.
This dedication saw Niche awarded the Ghanaian President’s National Awards for Export Achievement as Exporter of The Year for three consecutive years in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Niche offers a range of premium products, from semi-finished cocoa products like natural cocoa liquor, natural and deodorized cocoa butter, natural and alkalized cocoa cake and natural and alkalized cocoa powder to refined industrial bulk chocolate and confectionery (chocolate bars) for supply to the chocolate, ice cream and bakery sectors.
The semi-finished products are exported to cocoa traders globally and marketed under the name “Ghana Prime Brand”, while the refined confectionary products such as chocolate bars, chocolate spreads and instant drinks are geared specifically towards the domestic market.
Every year, the company produces a staggering 60 000 tonnes of these products - a veritable feast of flavour. Production is not the only end goal, though: Niche has prioritised sustainability and the ongoing support of the country’s cocoa farmers.
The company actively supports cocoa farmers through agreements it has with two co-operatives to purchase certified beans, which serves as a sustainable investment because Niche is a UTZ certified processor. UTZ is the largest programme for the sustainable farming of cocoa and coffee in the world.
Part of Niche’s sustainability and support activities also include sponsorship of community service projects and paying premium prices to organically certified suppliers. Investment in these areas enable Niche to expand its sourcing from farmers who grow the finest cocoa beans and who implement preventive measures to eliminate environmental and social risks.
Did you know?
Ghana produces the second most cocoa beans in the world, after neighboring Ivory Coast.
Approximately 70% of the world's cocoa currently comes from West and Central Africa: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon.
The majority of this cocoa is grown on nearly two million small, independent family farms that are less than two hectares (5 acres) in size.
About 800,000 Ghanaian family farmers supply cocoa beans to global chocolate manufacturers such as Hershey’s and Nestlé.
Absa Group Limited | Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa | Registration number: 1986/003934/06 | Authorised financial services and registered credit provider (NCRCP7) | JSE share code: ABG | ISIN: ZAE000255915